Aid organizations have long struggled with the issue of how to get donors engaged. Faced with the choice of making supporters feel they’re singlehandedly saving the world versus showering them with administrative details about vaccines, food, and emergency tarps, it’s not surprising many choose to emphasize the individual, be it your individual contribution, a single (usually famous) interlocutor, ala Nicholas Kristof or Angelina Jolie, or individual beneficiaries. People want to feel connected.
Forget Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot unraveling the deadly mendacities of a steamer full of wealthy foreign tourists. Divorce your gaze from the spray-tanned Elizabeth Taylor and her cast of genuflecting thousands. For a cinematic glimpse of what life was like along the Nile in the glorious old and not-so-old days, check out these overlooked classics of exploration, identity, betrayal, and fear on the world’s longest river. (A video slideshow at the Huffington Post.)
A fake Dior bag, even one you know is fake, can still provide a little pleasure. Why? It looks nice. And it holds within it the comfort of the familiar and the aspired-to.
This first occurred to me last year, thousands of miles from Dior’s Paris and New York’s Chinatown, when I laid eyes on Bangladesh’s fake Taj Mahal.
The fake Taj is a tribute to a tribute. A souvenir snow globe for a country that has never seen snow.